Instead of throwing drug users to jail, the Obama Administration introduced a new approach to deal with prescription drug abuse.
According to the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske, the government is looking at drug abuse in a new angle. Drug addiction is seen as a treatable disease which could hopefully make an impact in minimizing drug crimes and imprisonment, as well as re-arrests of addicts.
In the new strategy, the growing problem of prescription drug abuse is highlighted. Measures to control such type of drug abuse include educating the public about the dangers of prescription medicines’ misuse and keeping medications secured and at the minimum at home. It also orders law-enforcement agencies to be vigilant on so-called “pill mills.”
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine admits that controlling prescription drug abuse won’t be easy. People have the tendency to think that because doctors are somehow involved in the process, then prescribed medications must be safe. What the public doesn’t realize is that drug overdose has climbed the second spot when it came to accidental death causes in their state.
“Prescription drugs are killers,” he said. “But people don’t look at them that way.”
DeWine believes that education and proper information dissemination will change the people’s perspective on prescription drugs.
Yet for some concerned citizens, like public health nurse Lisa Roberts from the Portsmouth City Health Department, the new initiative still does not ensure that the public will be safe.
Roberts found it ironic that the Food and Drug Administration suspends the retail of some products in the market with side effects such as muscle twitching, but not products which kill thousands of people every year, like some opiate painkillers do when abused.